The short answer to this is, “yes.” But we don’t expect you to take that at face value, and we want to explain to you why.
We get it: when you’re looking for a new heating system of any kind you have a lot on your plate. You can be overwhelmed by comparisons between factors like fuel types, AFUE vs. HSPF ratings, and many other considerations.
So, it can be pretty tempting to just go with whatever furnace fits in the space you have available in order to move on with your life. We really have to advise against this though, for a number of reasons. Simply put, size matters! If the furnace you have installed in your home is too large, or too small, you’ll probably be surprised by how quickly things will turn sour for you.
A furnace that is too large for your home will generate too much output. This will typically result in your thermostat shutting down the furnace before it has the chance to complete a full heating cycle—a process called short-cycling.
Furnaces of all sizes are meant to operate in cycles, where they generate a set amount of output over a specific period of time before resting. If your furnace shuts down before it can ever complete a full heating cycle, then it will begin to suffer.
The various components of your furnace will wear down more rapidly than they were designed to. The furnace won’t be able to actually heat your home efficiently since the thermostat will keep cutting it off. The overall lifespan of your heater, as a result, could be shortened.
As you might already realize, an overly small furnace will give you problems, too. It simply won’t be able to generate enough heat to keep your entire home comfortable. Therefore, it will stay operating for much longer than it is supposed to, trying to compensate.
This is the opposite problem from the one we mentioned above, but at the end of the day it will have the same basic results—increased and unnecessary wear and tear on the furnace, leading to a shortened lifespan.
Properly sizing a furnace isn’t just a matter of getting the right physical dimensions, although that is an important part of installing the system. You’ll want to look at the overall output of the system in relation to the size of your home, to get an accurate picture of whether or not the furnace in the right size. You can attempt to do this on your own, or you can have a professional do it for you.
We highly recommend having a professional do it, since we are trained and experienced in doing so, and are much more likely to get an accurate calculation of how large your furnace needs to be. Installing the wrong size furnace can lead to many frustrations, not to mention costs you weren’t expecting as the years go by.